Tag Archives: TSOOL

Broken Bells Record Release Laser Light Show Drive-In

March 4, 2010
Rooftop parking lot
Downtown Los Angeles

Broken Bells Record Release Laser Light Show

Broken Bells Record Release Laser Light Show

If, when Broken Bells created this, they imagined how happy and grateful they could possibly make somebody feel, I feel even better than that. And by “created this” I mean:  not only the Record Release Laser Light Show Drive-In, but the music, the art, and the experience of it all.

This is what music is
It’s an experience
That’s why people are going back to vinyl
They want to touch something
They miss the experience
It’s a community
They want to be part of something

At 8:00pm tonight Broken Bells took over a roof-top parking lot in downtown Los Angeles for a drive-in style laser light show, synchronized to their debut album.  And it wasn’t just fancy shapes and pretty colors – it was an actual choreographed, scripted, 3D, laser light music video for each song, weaving several stories together into an album.  It took time.  It was thoughtful.  It added meaning.   It moved me.  It gave me renewed hope for music. . .

Y’know, U2 has this whole “360”  spaceship show.  And it’s visually spectacular.  But it feels like they did it just to be big, to do something nobody’s done before, to be larger than life.  And that’s respectable, on its own.  But it didn’t feel all that relevant to the music.  It was just an awesome visual show. . . oh, and also. . .  there was music.  It’s costing $750,000/day to keep that tour going and the carbon impact can’t be good.

Don’t get upset –  I’m not giving U2 shit (and this will come full-circle back to Broken Bells).  I love U2.   I like to get lost in Larry Mullen Jr.’s drumming.  The drums in U2 songs are some of the best there are.  I love that The Edge created a sound that is unmistakably his, and therefore, unmistakably the band’s.  I love watching  Adam Clayton swinging that bass around like it’s his dance partner.  And Bono, your voice is great. . .  So, you don’t need to go flying through the air on an illuminated neon megaphone.  It doesn’t add anything to the music.  In fact, if you re-read my review of that show (which I think is very complimentary), it doesn’t speak all that much about the music.  It’s mostly about the visual aspect as a stand-alone experience. I already got my ticket for U2’s next spaceship 360 show in the LA area, but I’d rather see the show I just described.

House abducted by spaceship

House abducted by spaceship

What Danger Mouse and The Shins‘ James Mercer (aka  Broken Bells) created tonight added something to the music.  What Nine Inch Nails creates adds something to the music.  What Portugal.  The Man creates adds something to the music.  What Radiohead creates adds something to the music.  What The Soundtrack of Our Lives creates adds something to the music. There are Artists doing it every day (including U2 – I just don’t think the current tour is the best example of it). And it’s great.  I only mention these other Artists within a Broken Bells review to illustrate that there are many paths to creating an exceptional experience.  Not right or wrong.  Some more about the music than others.  From one of the biggest bands in the world, to a brand new concept, to a band you may not have heard of but you will know them when you see them. . .

It's too late to change your mind

It's too late to change your mind

Danger Mouse gets it.  He does it every time.  He knows what’s happening. He knows where we’re headed.  He’s a little ahead of the game, so not everyone is going to get it at first.

Tonight’s event left me feeling like Broken Bells created this as part of the music;  that they originally set out to do exactly this.  It wasn’t just an afterthought; it’s more than simply a cool way to promote something.  They didn’t want to just make a record – they wanted to create a mutil-sensory experience.  I’d love to know more.  Perhaps an interview at SXSW?

Broken Bells

Broken Bells 03-09-10

On March 9, 2010 (that’s Tuesday),  we really should buy the Broken Bells album.  Some of us can buy extras for those who can’t afford to buy one, but everybody should have one.

PS – The Broken Bells Laserium glasses are the gift that keep on giving.  And they didn’t even exploit the opportunity to paste some marketing message on them — they knew I’d remember where I got them.

And tell me you saw this:

The Soundtrack of Our Lives at The El Rey

February 26, 2010
The El Rey Theater, Los Angeles

The Soundtrack of Our Lives

The Soundtrack of Our Lives

If you visit The Soundtrack of Our Lives website, you will read this:

The purpose for this band’s existence is:
The spiritual guidance through the great transformation that we are now experiencing as we move towards the zenith in the meridian of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

The Soundtrack of Our lives is simply a bridge to enlightenment through entertainment and is well on the way to complete their mission in this dimension for mankind.

Martin Hederos

Martin Hederos

Right now the band members are working on various classified projects and will start Part I of the 2009/2010 Winter Tour in November.

Don’t miss it if you have the opportunity to see them live. It will probably save your life!

If you go see TSOOL live, you will find out that statement is true.

The unpredictable language of you-don't-know-what

The unpredictable language of you-don't-know-what

Just a few songs into TSOOL’s set and you’re on your way to transcendence.  It’s not clear where exactly you’re going, as lead singer Ebbot Lundberg noted early during Friday’s show at The El Rey, “This is the unpredictable language of you-don’t-know-what.”

At times it seems they venture to the dark side, but not in a scary way.  TSOOL acknowledges the dark and encourages you to embrace those parts of yourself and society in order to transform them.  If you don’t acknowledge something, how can you possibly change it?



During this mind/body/spirit trip, TSOOL guide you with, as promised by their name, a Soundtrack.  While immersed in exceptional rock riffs, deep bass lines, soulful keys, mind-blowing drums, and a captivating, theatrical performance, you’re greeted by lyrics such as “Welcome to the other side,” “Show me what you got,” and “Welcome to The Future.”

Wayne Kramer

Wayne Kramer kicks out the jams with TSOOL

During the climax of the show, Wayne Kramer of MC5 joined TSOOL on stage and played “Kick Out The Jams.”  This portion of the set neared sensory overload.  Thankfully, I really enjoy sensory overload. And although they’ve taken you to the highest peak, it’s not over. The Soundtrack of Our Lives embraces you with the beautiful melody of “Tonight”. . . TSOOL knows it’s important to lie there and cuddle.

I’ve wanted to see TSOOL play since they released “Behind The Music” in 2001.  Unfortunately, I’ve been out of town each time they passed through previously.  Among other things I learned as a result of their performance Friday night, “Behind The Music” took on an even deeper meaning – there’s definitely more to TSOOL than music. . . and all of it’s good.


Welcome to the future

In early February they released an E.P. called “The Immaculate Convergence.”  Lyrics like “Little stranger, let me know, light the shadow of what used to be my soul,” take you further along this journey.

When they finished their set, I looked at my friend and said, “At what point do you begin describing that?”

I guess you’d start at the beginning.  But thanks to TSOOL, I’m somewhere else entirely now, so you best see for yourself.